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mights interview

Kondo(No Buses) × Ryogo Suguro

 No Buses has been making a leap forward with their support act for foreign musician and the attendance of Summer Sonic, etc. It is clear that their composition titled “Tic” and its music video served as a big trigger of their breakthrough. Today we invited Ryogo Suguro who created the music videos of No Buses including “Tic”, and had an interview with Kondo, song writer of No Buses, and asked about their history and current picture.

* This interview was released on August 2018

── Please tell me the story before forming the band.

Suguro: I haven’t heard about that too.

Kondo: Yes, you haven’t. During high school student, I could not form the popular music band as there were no such club activities at the school. So, I was thinking "I will form the band after getting into collage". I belonged to (and am still a member of) the rock band club where the club members are playing UK rock music mainly. No one plays their own music and the main activity is cover band in the club. So, I was kind of resigned as I wanted to play my original songs at a band. But I met the guitarist of No Buses at the club just as I was going to start the home recording. After I played him my original song “Rat” with eating a meal together, I got an offer from him, like “Let’s play together!” and we started a band. This was the first story of the band.

*Directed by Ryogo Suguro.

── OK, so, what kind of music had you listened originally?

Kondo: I had listened only game music and Momoiro Clover Z until junior high school student as I was not interested in music at all. After entered high school, I started to listen to the band music and I was like “ARCTIC MONKEYS is so cool”, and I was into their music. It might be before the release of “AM” (album, 2013). I started playing guitar at my second grade of high school, and at the same time, I have got into UK rock music and US indies music.

── When was your first live?

Kondo: Oct. 2016. It was a kind of unique live held at Ikebukuro. It was tough as we could not collect audiences… as a result we had to pay 10,000yen per member. I thought we could not continue our band if the situation was not changed. My heart was totally broken in spite of our first live.

Suguro: Oh were you?

Kondo: The words “break up the band” went through my head in less than two months after the start. But I thought I should stick with it a little more, then brought our demos to live houses. Our first appearance after starting that kind of activities was at Shimo-kitazawa THREE. We started to do lives properly from that time.

── Did you have the things you wanted to do regarding music when the band started?

Kondo: I had expressed “I want to do something like this” at the time of starting a band at college. I used to like metalcore too when I was a high school student, but UK rock music is my favorite. I still listen to such music with fresh feeling because it has not been long since I started to listen to those kinds of music. Such a situation may effect on my music.

── So, the sound of the band may be changed along with your preference of music or feeling at the time?

Kondo: We have various changes now. The sounds might be changed more as it has been changed by the preference of music until now.

── The sounds of ARCTIC MONKEYS which is the origin of your band name has been changed along with their music career.

Kondo: Yes, that is my ideal.

── How much are you focusing on the visual effects or images?

Kondo: We try not to play cool too much. I think it is our best way to do cool things but not to do play cool. Members may be aware of that point too. As another thing, we cannot make elaborate things at the current situation.

Suguro: It’s difficult to prepare the equipment such as camera, isn’t it.

Kondo: Suguro-san, he’s always taking care of us, did the shooting for the music video of “Tic” at the room in the college. We don’t spend money so much.

Directed by Ryogo Suguro.

── OK. How did you meet with Suguro-san?

Suguro: Just a year ago, at a live. I was taking photos of the band “Group2” at that time, and one of my friends told me “a band “No Buses” is so cool”. I happened to see them at a live and they were truly cool. I had chances to see their performance several times and decided to shoot their photos.

Kondo: I got Suguro-san to take my photo, kind of family photo. And then we started to get him to shoot our live performances.

Suguro: It was like “if I go to their live, let’s take photos with my camera”.

── For Suguro-san, what kind of things are you attracted about No Buses?

Suguro: Their performance is so cool, but on the other hand, they are clumsy in a good way. They do what they want to do with their belief. I was interested in taking their photos as I am attracted to their humanity.

── OK. How old are you two?

Suguro: I’m twenty-four.

Kondo: I’m twenty-one this year.

── You two are the same generation. How do you think about the band in the same generation as you objectively? It’s ok within your activities.

Kondo: I think there are so many bands but, I feel everyone creates the things with a high quality under the limited circumstances. We can create music with mobiles by ourselves nowadays, and I also feel the number of bands have been increasing because of such generations. I think so precisely because I’ve been doing so. Also there are many musicians I admire even they’re younger than me.

── I think there are a certain number of bands collaborate with cameraman or visual creator, like No Buses.

Suguro: I hope that kind of circle will increase more. The more such relationship like No Buses and I increases, the more horizontal ties within creators also increases. As a result, it becomes to have more choices.

── Now I want to get back a bit. Suguro-san got started for shooting the music video of “Tic” after he kept on taking photos of No Buses. By tweeting about this music video by Masafumi Goto-san, a member of ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, many people knew No Buses for the first time.

Kondo: Before the tweet, the total number of views of this music video was probably several thousand times. The chances to have offers are certainly increased by the release of this music video. We had uploaded our music videos on YouTube so far, but I realized the importance of the creatives in order to give the impression with this chance.

── Did you two discuss the concept of this music video when starting the creation?

Kondo: It was very rough discussion, right?

Suguro: Yes, because I had already got a feel what he wants to do as our relationship was a kind of friend at the time.

Kondo: So, I left the creation to his discretion after the shooting. I received the completed music video on the day I planned to upload it to YouTube. That was haphazard operation. I absolutely loved the music video as soon as I’ve checked as it reflected everything I wanted to do.

── (To Suguro) Was this your first time to create music video?

Suguro: Yes, it was. The creation of music video is not my specialty, and only my experience of making a music video was in school class.

── (To Suguro) Have you received any feedbacks or comments regarding the music video?

Suguro: I got comments “I saw the music video. No Buses is very cool.” from unknown junior fellow of the school club I belonged to.

── This music video is not just a cool music video, but it includes funny scenes thoroughout the work.

Kondo: As the sound of “Tic” is kind of neutral, the music video perfectly fits with the sound in terms of the gap.

── I think that is amazing to embody it. The situation surrounding your band has been gradually changing by a lot of feedback from people such as Gotch-san from ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, and Kwatani-san from Gesu no Kiwami Otome?

Kondo: It was my pleasure as I like ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION which I’ve listened to their music since my elementary school student, but such situation didn’t affect our activities. My friends let me know like “You are tweeted!” and I was excited about it, but there are not so much changes. In terms of the changes, the access to the music video increased drastically in last month. I’m not sure the reason, but the number of access currently becomes nineteen hundred thousand times (as of August 27, 2018).

── Certainly, there are many comments in English.

Kondo: Yes, there are. More than 80% of the access are from overseas, including US, UK, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, etc. As a result of that, now we received emails from overseas such as the offer of interviews, and the request for upload of the video which explains “Tic”.

── Was there specific trigger of the situation?

Kondo: No, it was purely sudden. It seems probable that “Tic” appeared as a related video.

── You didn’t suppose the situation, right?

Kondo: No, I didn’t at all. Actually, we chose and released the song because there are no satisfying one other than “Tic” among the five recorded songs.

── In terms of overseas, the opportunities you act with foreign music artists such as TAPE WAVES and COMPUTER MAGIC are increasing.

Kondo: We’ve had opportunities to act with foreign music artists since last year. In these kinds of lives, audiences usually want to see other bands, not us. But I feel our sounds resonated with the audiences when we had feedbacks after such lives. I started No Buses because I preferred foreign music, so I’m very pleased that our sound gets their heart.

── Furthermore, No Buses will appear in SUMMER SONIC 2018. (This interview was done before SUMMER SONIC 2018)

Kondo: This is my first time to visit SUMMER SONIC, and originally, I haven’t come to this kind of big music festival even as an audience. So I’m excited about the appearance in lot of ways. Many of my favorite bands will also appear.

── You could say you will act with those bands.

Kondo: I haven’t gotten real yet though, I’m simply looking forward to it. Our band name included in the timetable with the bands I’ve listened, and I hope we will become a one of such bands (regularly appears in such kind of timetables) without surprise.

── It has an affect on your motivation positively?

Kondo: Yes. I’m impressed that we can really appear on the stage as we’ve discussed we want to appear to the music festival since we started this band. I feel we passed through one of the transit points.

── We talked there are many access to the music video of “Tic” from overseas, how do you think about the expanding your activities to overseas?

Kondo: Of course, I want to set out the activities in overseas because I mainly listened to the bands from overseas and I’m interested in the places where those music have been created. But both aims and the goal of the band is to create the music we want to listen. Based on this plan, we want to pursue that point.

── How the current situation of No Buses looks to you, Suguro-san?

Suguro: I’m merely a fan of the band, so I’m simply happy about it. I feel lucky as a fan of No Buses if they are getting popular.

── Lastly, do you have any goals that you want to create?

Kondo: Without changing our own mood and attitude, we want to create cool things like our regular self. I see Suguro-san also has such feeling, so we want to protect this point.

Interview and Wording: Tomokazu Nishibiro
Editing: Shinji Sakai

No Buses

Ryogo Suguro